The Blind Shake Olympic Plaza, Calgary AB, June 21

The Blind Shake Olympic Plaza, Calgary AB, June 21
Photo: Steve Louie
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Imagine a combination of Devo, Nomeansno, Shellac, the New Bomb Turks and early Amphetamine Reptile bands like Tar and Cows. Let that settle in for a while and you've got Minnesota's the Blind Shakes, a curious if not risky late evening choice for Sled Island's Saturday night outdoor venue. The three-piece delivered one of those sets where all they could do was play, and play fucking hard, and hope for the best. In fact, the band appeared to be anguished by the act of playing, sweating and grimacing as the majority of the swelling audience remained wooden.

Funny thing is, the band was actually very Calgary-friendly, demonstrating a hint of the countrified/psych qualities that do so well in the vibrant punk/indie/noisey scene in the land of Sled. Here's a band that probably would have slayed opening up for Mission of Burma at the Legion on Thursday night. Instead, here they were, stuck on the outdoor stage, fighting a tough crowd, a clueless stage manager (their last song featured no guitar until the band started ripping cords out of amps and troubleshooting themselves), and enough sweat dripping off their collective chrome domes to fill an extra large pail.